Review by horror_spooky

Reviewed: 04/07/08

DigiPort Close!

I know some Digimon fans are going to be ticked off at the score I gave this game, but the reason I gave this game such a bad score isn’t because I hate Digimon…it’s because I love Digimon. I have seen practically every episode of the show and the old Digimon World game on the PlayStation is one of my personal favorite games of all time. Sadly, just like the newer seasons, the Digimon videogames fail to capture the magical essence of the original.

Right off the bat, you choose a “pack” of Digimon as if they were cards, which already ruins one of the main points of the show, and that is connecting with a single Digimon, not multiple ones. However, some of the Digimon you can choose from are pretty cool, including Angewomon, Growlmon, and MegaSeadramon, but you always have to have this new Digimon on your team that is just a lame little red dude. Battles play out like traditional RPGs in that it is turn-based, but in Digimon World: Dawn, your attacks can hit multiple Digimon at a time. The Digimon have magic power like in pretty much every RPG ever and you can use items in battle to heal yourself or your MP.

Also like practically every other RPG ever created, you can equip weapons that will make your attack stronger. Usually I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but this is a freaking game about Digimon, it is not a Final Fantasy game. I don’t understand why the developers had to totally rip-off every Square Enix RPG ever made for their battle system, when the battle system in the original Digimon World, while it had its flaws, was a million times better.

Obviously, the developers couldn’t get by without giving the player the ability to Digivolve, but the game’s version of Digivolving is pretty stupid. You can branch off in different paths when you Digivolve and you can de-Digivolve, but that’s how deep it goes. Hell, Pokemon has a better evolution system and all you had to do was level most of the time!

Depending on how many times you face an enemy in the field (which will be quite often since the random battles are so frequent you can barely take a couple of steps before you are thrown into another bare-bones fight) you can actually make them in a computer at your home to join your party. I actually liked this, but it is horridly under-utilized in the fact that by the time you get enough data to create a Digimon, your other Digimon will already be so powered that you won’t want to trade off.

There is a Digimon Farm that you can put your Digimon in to get stronger and stuff, but this is also horridly under-utilized. You can pretty much ignore it the entire game and breeze through very easily. Seriously, if you are going to make something a feature part of a video game, at least give the players a good reason to even use it!

There are shops where you can buy items like weapons (I hate that) to make your Digimon have a stronger attack power, healing items, or stuff for your useless farm, and this is about the only part of the game that actually works mostly correctly. With the touch-screen and stylus, it’s a lot easier to buy items than it is in console games. However, I do have to say that this game doesn’t really take advantage of the touch-screen or microphone, which is horridly pathetic.

You are given missions based on the type of Digimon that needs the task to be done and then you have to find that Digimon so they can repeat some stuff you already know. After that, you travel to different locations, of which there are very few, and go through the same dungeons repeatedly. In these dungeons, you’ll be collecting things from treasure chests, walking around randomly until you find what you have to do, and then returning for another boring mission.

The story is a terrible excuse for a story. The characters are all laughable, besides one or two that actually say a couple of things amusing. You know, if the developers were ripping off the battle system from Final Fantasy games, they could have at least took the Final Fantasy tradition of an amazing story. The main character, not surprisingly, doesn’t talk, and the game doesn’t even do anything to try to replicate anything seen in the show. I really don’t understand why the developers of these games don’t make a video game more directly related to the show—that would be a fan’s ultimate dream come true.

Besides the fact that the Digimon look cool by default, Digimon World: Dawn has terrible graphics. You don’t even see your Digimon on the field for the love of god! The environments are all bland and try to copy the Mega Man Battle Network games for some stupid reason. Not to mention nearly every area looks the same, so you will be totally loss most of the time. The biggest kicker though is that a lot of the dungeons have paths that lead to…nothing. Absolutely, positively, nothing at all. I don’t know who thought up the idea that they should make players travel down paths that lead to dead-ends, but they should be fired immediately.

A generic soundtrack also ruins Digimon World: Dawn in the audio department. You probably won’t even remember what the game sounded like after you’re finished—I know I didn’t. There is no voice-acting at all and a bare minimum of sound effects so there really isn’t that much to keep your ears busy as you play.

If Digimon World: Dawn has one thing going for it, it’s that it’s longer than most DS titles seem to be, except for Phantom Hourglass or Pokemon. However, the longevity in Phantom Hourglass and Pokemon was a good thing since those games were actually fun to play, but in Digimon World: Dawn you are forced to go through the same dungeons repeatedly to experience extremely dull gameplay that wasn’t revolutionary even twenty years ago. There are some Wi-Fi capabilities where you can battle, but why would you really want to when the battle system is so lame. Seriously, I’ve played RPGs on the NES with way better battle systems.

It pains me to give a Digimon game such a low score since I love the franchise so much, but I can’t help it. When a game is bad, a game is bad. I loved the first Digimon World title on the PlayStation, but ever since that game the series has been on a steady decline with each entry getting worse and worse. Sadly, I think that Digimon World: Dawn maybe the final nail in the coffin of the Digimon World games.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Product Release: Digimon World: Dawn (US, 09/18/07)

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